Category Archives: Rankings

Week 3 Rankings

Full rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.758
Previous ranking: 1

Oklahoma doubled down on the 198s this weekend, going 198.250 on Friday away and going 198.175 at home on Monday (which will be reflected in the week 4 rankings). Olivia Trautman returned on bars, and Maggie Nichols got the fourth 39.9+ AA score of her career. So, I mean, it’s OK I guess.

2. Florida Gators

Average: 197.100
Previous ranking: 2

Florida couldn’t quite match its opening meet score with the team’s first road performance, mostly because of an uncharacteristically medium bars rotation, but a strong second-half performance that featured Rachel Gowey tying her career-high on floor helped Florida remain the only other team with an average in the 197s.

3. UCLA Bruins

Average: 196.933
Previous ranking: 5

UCLA’s first complete hit (buoyed by the two-event return of Madison Kocian) helped the team gain two spots in the rankings this week with a 197.425, the second-highest peak score in the country. The eternal soap opera of these potential 10.0 starts on vault remains a weak spot with UCLA’s lowest rotation score coming there.

4. Denver Pioneers

Average: 196.900
Previous ranking: 3

Denver hit a season high 197.250 at Arkansas, though did drop a spot in the rankings because UCLA’s score was even higher. The no-falls streak continued, and some of those routines even got some friendly scoring crack, so you know Denver has truly arrived.

5. Utah Utes

Average: 196.713
Previous ranking: 4

Utah was idle this week and dropped a spot in the rankings by not being able to participate in the bacchanalia that is NCAA scoring.

Continue reading Week 3 Rankings

Week 2 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.513

Oklahoma continued setting the standard in week 2, improving on its week 1 performance with a new season-leading 197.675 away at ASU, achieved with some backups still in the lineups because of Olivia Trautman’s broken heel.

2. Florida Gators

Average: 197.350

Florida didn’t necessarily allay any of last season’s vault fears with its first-meet performance, but bars and beam continued looking exceptional and Trinity Thomas got 9.975 on floor for almost falling on a leap, so…win-win?

3. Denver Pioneers

Average: 196.725

Denver stayed on track with a second consecutive meet of clean, elegant, fall-free gymnastics with legitimate 9.9s completing every lineup. Early 9.7s continue to be a feature of the vault and floor lineups, keeping the team out of the 197s as yet, so watch that space.

4. Utah Utes

Average: 196.713

Utah leapfrogged UCLA in the rankings after a 197 flat at UTAH UTAH UTAH, the special Utah meet. Kim Tessen’s senior emergence continued, garnering two of the three 9.9s Utah recorded in the competition. We still haven’t seen Tessen on beam, and I thought beam was her best event at RRP. Just saying.

Continue reading Week 2 Rankings

Week 1 Rankings

1. Oklahoma Sooners

Average: 197.350

Surprising no one, Oklahoma sits in first after posting the weekend’s lone 197, achieved with the help of Ragan Smith’s NCAA all-around debut, and even without the services of Olivia Trautman.

2. Denver Pioneers

Average: 196.700

Denver upset UCLA to take 2nd place at the Collegiate Challenge (from the first session, no less) a performance highlighted by the season’s first 10, coming from Alexis Vasquez on beam.

Continue reading Week 1 Rankings

The Race to Tokyo – Women’s Team Qualification

This October in Stuttgart, the final 9 teams qualifying to the Olympics will be decided. But who will it be?

Using the principles of the National Team Rankings (I know, I know, I got behind and couldn’t catch up…), I ranked the contending nations based on how each country’s best-scoring group of five senior gymnasts would do in a three-scores-count format using each gymnast’s top score on each event recorded at a major international meet this year.

I do have a methodology departure from the previous National Team Rankings in that I’m using only major international meets** and excluding scores from smaller and domestic meets in order to provide a slightly more realistic impression that isn’t skewed by “I got a 14.500 on beam even though I’m getting at best a 12.700 at worlds!” national championship scores. I’m looking at you, Ukraine.

This method does cause equivalent problems of its own—Canada’s score is a little low because Moors and Olsen have competed only domestically so far in 2019, Brazil’s supply of countable routines is misleadingly paltry, etc—but there’s no perfect system.

Because this ranking is specifically about the race for the remaining 9 spots at the Olympics, I have not included the US, Russia, and China since they are already qualified. I’m also not including injured gymnasts that we know will miss worlds (like Rebeca Andrade) or gymnasts who have been deemed ineligible like Mai Murakami, in an effort to provide the most realistic picture of the race as it could play out at worlds. That means I’m saying Japan’s group of five must include the four gymnasts already named—since we know they’re going to worlds—and the fifth gymnast is selected only from those eligible through the inane selection procedures.

**I’m defining major international meets as FIG world cup events, continental championships, and larger-scale multi-nation competitions: Jesolo, Gymnix, the DTB Team Challenge, and the FIT Challenge.

1. FRANCE – 166.531
Melanie DJDS 14.433 14.033 13.733 13.833
Lorette Charpy 13.600 14.100 13.666 12.566
Marine Boyer 0.000 11.966 14.100 13.300
Coline Devillard 15.000 0.000 12.300 12.833
Carolann Heduit 13.366 13.900 11.666 12.700


43.033 42.033 41.499 39.966
If you’re using domestic scores, you’d put Juliette Bossu in there for her bars score instead of Carolann Heduit, but either way France is looking very strong right now as long as the major players stay/get healthy. This is a comfortably Olympic-level group of routines.
2. ITALY – 165.514
Alice D’Amato 14.633 14.400 12.466 12.700
Asia D’Amato 14.633 14.033 11.967 12.900
Elisa Iorio 13.633 14.300 13.350 12.633
Giorgia Villa 14.300 13.533 13.766 12.666
Lara Mori 0.000 0.000 12.633 13.866
165.514 43.566 42.733 39.749 39.466
This year, expect an Italian team packed with those new seniors to deliver the kind of scores on bars Italy hasn’t enjoyed in quite some time. I’m still a little worried about this group’s scores and consistency on beam and floor (be honest, you wouldn’t be that surprised to see one of the old standbys swoop to do those two events at worlds, would you?), but Italy is on track for its best team result in a while, and at just the right time.
3. CANADA – 165.496
Ellie Black 14.500 14.266 13.800 13.266
Ana Padurariu 13.533 14.666 14.333 13.600
Rose Woo 13.733 12.366 11.366 12.400
Victoria Woo 13.666 13.433 12.600 12.833
Laurie Denommee 13.566 12.866 13.133 13.100
165.496 41.899 42.365 41.266 39.966
Once Moors and Olsen compete at Pan Ams, we’ll have a better sense of how they influence the team score because they’d certainly be included in the best five (plugging in their scores from nationals, Canada would zoom to the top, but scores from Canadian Nationals, especially on floor, are notoriously 5-ish tenths higher than reality). Either way, Canada is in an exceptionally solid position for Olympic team qualification. Shouldn’t be a problem at all.
4. GREAT BRITAIN – 164.664
Alice Kinsella 14.200 13.800 13.566 13.100
Ellie Downie 14.500 14.066 13.333 13.466
Amelie Morgan 14.100 13.900 13.033 12.666
Claudia Fragapane 0.000 0.000 0.000 13.600
Phoebe Jakubczyk 13.558 11.733 11.700 12.833
164.664 42.800 41.766 39.932 40.166
Great Britain hasn’t done a ton of non-domestic competing so far this year, but when they have, it’s been successful (like the European Championship), so this ends up being pretty close to a first choice team, just probably with a Fenton or a Simm or a Becky in there. Or more than one.
5. NETHERLANDS – 163.847
Sanna Veerman 14.100 14.133 12.166 11.833
Eythora Thorsdottir 13.600 13.866 13.550 13.666
Tisha Volleman 14.000 13.000 12.366 13.333
Naomi Visser 13.800 14.100 13.433 13.200
Sara van Disseldorp 13.366 12.200 12.666 12.733
163.847 41.900 42.099 39.649 40.199
Netherlands has put up some reassuring performances recently, and if van Gerner gets back and Lieke continues this trajectory in her return as well, this can be a very formidable group.
6. BELGIUM – 162.963
Maellyse Brassart 13.600 13.300 13.166 13.100
Jade Vansteenkiste 13.733 12.866 11.333 13.233
Fien Enghels 0.000 14.200 13.033 12.866
Nina Derwael 13.566 15.233 13.633 13.066
Dorien Motten 13.666 0.000 0.000 11.866
162.963 40.999 42.733 39.832 39.399
We have seen a change this year for Belgium, an introduction of depth. For the last quad+, Belgium has fielded a competitive team, but an exact specific five had to be healthy (and as Mys and Waem left, Kinkcaert and Brassart took their places in that five). If people like Hermans and Klinckaert were out (as we’ve seen recently), Belgium just wouldn’t have a team score. Now, new seniors like Enghels and Vansteenkiste have come in to give Belgium a little more buffer for someone critical being out.
7. GERMANY – 162.514
Kim Bui 13.800 14.400 12.766 13.233
Elisabeth Seitz 14.500 14.233 12.466 13.200
Pauline Schäfer 13.450 13.266 13.666 0.000
Isabelle Stingl 13.600 11.333 12.566 13.050
Leah Grießer 13.133 13.150 12.800 12.800
162.514 41.900 41.899 39.232 39.483
Germany really should be one of the 9 qualifying teams at worlds this year and is too talented not to make the Olympics as a full squad—Seitz, Schäfer, Bui, Scheder, Voss is still such a formidable-seeming group—but what we’re seeing right now is a German team that’s exceptionally reliant on a select group of veterans all being healthy at the same time. You worry whether that next generation of backup routines/future stars is coming along or not.
8.  AUSTRALIA – 160.633
Georgia-Rose Brown 13.700 13.633 12.266 12.400
Emily Whitehead 13.633 13.233 12.833 12.500
Emma Nedov 13.333 13.333 14.100 13.033
Elena Chipizubov 12.866 12.166 13.200 12.766
Georgia Godwin 13.733 13.500 13.266 12.766
160.663 41.066 40.466 40.566 38.565
This spring, we’ve seen an Australia squad that’s attempting to make a push out of the borderline territory and into the qualifying group of 9. This 8th-place position is therefore encouraging, the lingering issue being that Japan and Brazil are both lurking below Australia here…for reasons that we’ll get to. 
9. JAPAN – 160.464
Asuka Teramoto* 14.600 13.266 13.333 13.600
Hitomi Hatakeda* 13.933 13.566 12.900 12.300
Aiko Sugihara* 14.100 12.866 13.000 12.000
Nagi Kajita* 13.033 11.766 11.366 12.833
Ayaka Sakaguchi 14.100 0.000 0.000 0.000
160.464 42.800 39.698 39.233 38.733
The * indicates athletes who have been named to the worlds team already and therefore must be included here. This is, of course, not the highest-scoring possible team Japan could come up with, but if they stick to these selection procedures, it could be the team that happens. Of the remaining eligible athletes, Ayaka Sakaguchi or Kiko Kuwajima seem to make the most sense for that last spot because they can deliver a DTY and a beam and floor routine, though they’ve only rarely competed outside of domestic competitions. Still expect Japan to be a couple points better than this, but it is perhaps worth being a little concerned if they send a team like this.
10. UKRAINE – 160.463
Valeria Osipova 13.933 12.400 12.266 12.400
Anastasia Bachynska 14.000 13.566 13.533 12.700
Diana Varinska 13.500 13.966 12.866 12.966
Angelina Radivilova 13.900 12.367 13.333 13.033
Yana Fedorova 13.555 12.667 10.600 11.100
160.463 41.833 40.199 39.732 38.699
Ukraine should be considered a major outsider for an Olympic spot, but the team is quite a bit better than last year’s 20th-place showing would indicate (they didn’t have a particularly great competition and didn’t yet have Bachynska). If Varinska and Bachynska both have legit meets at the same time, the score can be competitive.
11. BRAZIL – 159.445
Flavia Saraiva 14.600 13.266 13.033 13.666
Thais Fidelis 13.566 12.300 12.933 13.266
Carolyne Pedro 13.733 12.566 12.233 12.933
Jade Barbosa 0.000 13.650 0.000 0.000
X 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
159.445 41.899 39.482 38.166 39.865
Things are not quite as dire as all this, even without Andrade. Brazil went all-in on a very specific group of gymnasts in international meets early in the year, so there’s not a lot of backup scores to use right now. If you were to give the team the scores from Lorrane Oliveira and Jade Barbosa from nationals (high but still), they’re in the mid 162s, which is probably more reflective of where this team is without Andrade. In the 9, but not safely so.
12. HUNGARY – 159.281
Sara Peter 14.533 0.000 9.450 12.533
Nora Feher 12.966 13.550 12.800 12.466
Dorina Böczögo 13.750 12.650 0.000 13.000
Csenge Bacskay 14.100 0.000 12.266 11.733
Zsofia Kovacs 13.933 14.000 13.450 11.333
159.281 42.566 40.200 38.516 37.999
We’ve seen from Hungary’s team results in Europe this quad that the potential for contention is there. This is not yet a top-12 country, but Hungary has a good crop of new seniors this year and should be at least somewhere in the vicinity of the qualification spots at worlds.
13. ROMANIA – 158.730
Iulia Berar 13.266 12.533 12.950 0.000
Carmen Ghiciuc 13.466 11.933 13.100 10.933
Denisa Golgota 14.500 12.966 13.500 13.866
Ana Maria Puiu 13.600 12.100 13.233 12.900
Maria Holbura 13.233 11.300 12.533 12.966
158.730 41.566 37.599 39.833 39.732
Romania will not arrive at worlds with the expectation of Olympic qualification, but the way things have been going, the fact that it’s not completely out of the question feels like a win.
14. SPAIN – 158.446
Alba Petsico 13.600 12.566 12.033 12.766
Laura Bechdeju 13.400 13.100 12.033 13.250
Ana Perez 13.666 13.733 12.733 13.500
Nora Fernandez 13.766 13.266 11.500 11.600
Cintia Rodriguez 13.333 12.333 13.033 12.733
161.682 41.032 40.099 37.799 39.516
There’s some hearty talent in this generation of Spanish gymnasts, and a few newbies who are showing competitive scores on select pieces. There’s probably not enough depth to get up into the fancy places, but the scores haven’t been too, too far away so far this year.

Right now, I would say the next tier is countries like South Korea, Switzerland, and Mexico, but they’re currently a step lower, closer to a 154 kind of team total based on the scores so far in 2019

Final NQS Scenarios

1. Oklahoma Sooners

NQS: 198.115
Previous ranking: 1

Road Score 1: 198.200
Road Score 2: 198.075
Road Score 3: 198.050
Home/Road Score 1: 198.325
Home/Road Score 2: 198.275
Home/Road Score 3: 197.975
NQS: 198.115

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 198.185

Oklahoma recorded its 5th 198 of the season in defeating Alabama over the weekend, clinching the overall #1 ranking for the postseason and leaving only one question—whether the team can use its performance at Big 12s to break the all-time RQS (NQS…) record of 198.120, set by Oklahoma last season. That requires a score of 198.000 to tie, 198.025 to break.

2. UCLA Bruins

NQS: 197.885
Previous ranking: 2

Road Score 1: 198.025
Road Score 2: 197.900
Road Score 3: 197.700
Home/Road Score 1: 198.325
Home/Road Score 2: 198.025
Home/Road Score 3: 197.775
NQS: 197.885

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 198.010

UCLA’s “we’re honoring Miss Val by being all over the place” competition did nothing to change the team’s NQS, but because the NQS was high enough to begin with, UCLA is already set at finishing the season #2 regardless of what happens at the conference championship.

3. LSU Tigers

NQS: 197.680
Previous ranking: 4

Road Score 1: 198.175
Road Score 2: 197.450
Road Score 3: 197.250
Home/Road Score 1: 198.150
Home/Road Score 2: 197.900
Home/Road Score 3: 197.650
NQS: 197.475

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.865
Possible ranking range: 3-4

Our first shakeup in the rankings comes as a result of LSU traveling to the land that COP forgot to score a 198.175 at Arizona, just enough to pass up Florida for #3 in the rankings and therefore get Olympic order in the evening session at the SEC Championship. LSU will be looking to score a 197.950 at SECs, the number required to clinch this ranking position regardless of Florida’s score. Since SECs are in New Orleans this year, LSU will enjoy the benefit of being the de facto home team while also getting to use the number as a road score. 

4. Florida Gators

NQS: 197.675
Previous ranking: 3

Road Score 1: 198.025
Road Score 2: 197.500
Road Score 3: 197.325
Home/Road Score 1: 198.025
Home/Road Score 2: 197.850
Home/Road Score 3: 197.675
NQS: 197.675

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.815
Possible ranking range: 3-4

With a week off, Florida was not able to improve its NQS and has fallen behind LSU in the rankings. Florida will also not be able to control its own destiny for that #3 ranking position as LSU has the higher maximum possible NQS following SEC Championships. Which means that Florida could win SECs and still find itself ranked below LSU if the meet is super close and both teams are getting season-high-type scores, allowing LSU to take advantage of having that higher maximum. Florida’s goal will be to win SECs by more than a tenth AND have LSU stay below that 197.950 marker. If both teams go 198, LSU is staying ahead regardless of who wins.

5. Denver Pioneers

NQS: 197.540
Previous ranking: 5

Road Score 1: 197.775
Road Score 2: 197.450
Road Score 3: 197.225
Home/Road Score 1: 197.725
Home/Road Score 2: 197.675
Home/Road Score 3: 197.625
NQS: 197.540

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.650

Denver ventured back out on the road over the weekend to score a perfectly acceptable low 197, enough to improve the team’s NQS and stay at #5 but not enough to challenge the higher-ranked teams. Denver is now one of the set teams—able to go no higher and no lower than 5th regardless of the score at Big 12s.

6. Utah Utes

NQS: 197.375
Previous ranking: 6

Road Score 1: 197.450
Road Score 2: 197.375
Road Score 3: 197.250
Home/Road Score 1: 197.975
Home/Road Score 2: 197.625
Home/Road Score 3: 197.175
NQS: 197.375

Maximum possible NQS after next meet: 197.535
Possible ranking range: 6-8

Utah scored a road season high against Georgia, but as the final score was 197.450, it didn’t make a huge dent against the other teams in this portion of the rankings. We can expect a big number at Pac-12s (once again, Utah as the de facto home team for a road meet), and Utah will need a least a moderately solid number because even though the Utes can move no higher than 6th this weekend, there is still a threat from Georgia and Michigan. That threat can be snuffed out by Utah scoring 197.425 at Pac-12s.

Continue reading Final NQS Scenarios